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Old 02-01-2014, 10:13 PM   #1
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Default 2010 travel trailer towing

Have 2010 s-crew lariat, 5.4l with max tow pkg (3.73 rear, upgraded rear springs, bumper, lt tires, etc) currently have 2008 keystone outback 25rss, weight as towed about 6200 pounds. Live in mountains of SW Virginia. Have to tow through mountains to get anywhere. Needing to trade to larger travel trailer, will be about 6500 empty and 7200 as towed. Have 11,300 towing capacity, 17000 pound gcvwr, 1800 pound payload cap. Problem is, I had the transmission blow while pulling the outback. Ford says it was a fluke, that the "new" (remanufactured) transmission replaced by the new vehicle warranty will be fine to tow up to published capacities even in mountains. Trading for HD truck not an option now. Anyone have experience with towing this size TT? Transmissions holding up or not? I use properly set up WD hitch with sway control. Thanks, David
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:51 AM   #2
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Ensure you have a large capacity tranny cooler
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:50 AM   #3
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I'm not familiar with the 2010 trannies. Are they the same as in the 2011's and later?

Does it have Tow/haul mode and do you use it, especially in the mountains?

If the tranny is like my 2011, and you have the MaxTow with the auxiliary tranny cooler and all, I would agree that it was a fluke.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:16 AM   #4
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Probably a fluke buy maybe you should monitor your transmission temperature. Get something like a ScanGaugeII that plugs into your OBD.
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Old 02-02-2014, 03:31 PM   #5
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Heat is the tranny killer. If you don't overheat the tranny, then it will probably last at least 100,000 miles before it needs an overhaul.

If your Lariat is like mine, then you have a tranny temp gauge built into the instrument cluster as one of your instrument options. Choose the "gauges" option, then get that tranny temp gauge front and center. Watch it like a hawk when towing, especially on grades or when moving at less than about 50 MPH.

"Normal" is any tranny temp up to around 210. "Pay Attention" is any tranny temp between 210 and 225. If it goes over 225, it's time to slow down a tad, then find a good place to pull over and stop. DO NOT KILL THE ENGINE. Put the tranny in park or neutral, then elevate the idle RPM to around 1,300 RPM. Continue watching the tranny temp gauge, and sit there twiddling your thumbs until the tranny temp falls below about 220. Yes, it's boring, but that will give you some incentive to increase tranny cooling capacity.

If your Lariat doesn't have the factory digital tranny temp gauge, then you need to install an aftermarket tranny temp gauge. You don't need digital, but if analog then it must have clear markings so you distinguish tranny temps of 220, 225 and 230. 220 is fine, but watch it closely. 225 is the red line. 230 is too hot. Install the gauge sensor (sender) in the pan (sump) so it will be covered with ATF. Or some trannies have a port on the side of the tranny that will give you sump temp. DO NOT install the sender in a tranny cooler line. Worst case is you must remove the pan, drill a hole in the lower side of the pan, then install a threaded bung in the pan.

Here's the tranny temp gauge I had for over 10 years in my PowerStroke.
http://www.dieselmanor.com/isspro/R5659.asp

List price is about $155 plus the mount, and that price online is about $104 plus the mount. That gauge will work in an F-150, but the install instructions on that website are for diesels only.

If you ever get tranny sump temp up to 225 or more, then you need more tranny cooling capacity. The simplest method is to replace the factory oil-to-air (OTA) tranny cooler with a bigger heat exchanger, but without reducing the flow of ATF through the coolers. If your F-150 doesn't have an OTA tranny cooler, then install the biggest one that will fit in front of the radiator.
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Last edited by smokeywren; 02-02-2014 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 02-02-2014, 03:34 PM   #6
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I have the exact same year & spec truck, about the same size TT, and do a lot of towing in deserts & big mountains. Not a single hiccup.

All I can say is: 1. Make sure the fluid is clean (filters), and 2. If the tranny is hunting then change what you are doing.
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Old 02-02-2014, 03:36 PM   #7
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Hey team, the 2010 has tranny gauge in the cluster. Far right.

Should always stay in the middle.
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeywren View Post
Heat is the tranny killer. If you don't overheat the tranny, then it will probably last at least 100,000 miles before it needs an overhaul.
...
And one way to over heat a tranny is to allow the Torque Converter to run UN-locked for long periods of time. That's one reason why Tow/Haul mode is good for the tranny, as it pretty much keeps the Torque Converter locked on gear, except when shifting. At least that's what it does in my 2011 tranny.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:51 PM   #9
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Default Useless

The gauge in the cluster is just an idiot light with a needle. Using my scan gauge II to watch the transmission temps, that needle will sit in the middle of the gauge from 130F to the highest I've seen while towing at 214F. Get the scan gauge and actually see the temps. The Trany temp is available in the OBDII System on the 2009-2010 trucks. 2011 and up can actually show the temps in the central gauge display. I would suspect a fluke on your need to replace.

Quote:
Originally Posted by superdave150 View Post
Hey team, the 2010 has tranny gauge in the cluster. Far right.

Should always stay in the middle.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:20 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone! I do always tow with the tow/haul engaged. It does have the larger tranny cooler. I keep check on the tranny temp gauge in the dash, but it sounds like I need to get one that plugs into the obd II module to be more accurate. The tech who replaced my transmission at the dealer said that diagnostics showed normal temps right up to just a few seconds before it let go, so I guess it was some flaw in the metal in the gearing, which is what they told me.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:20 AM
 
 
 
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